From My Back Porch – Part 6

This morning as I drink my coffee, the song of the lawn mower keeps me company. After the nice rains that we have had, the grass has been growing so fast the boy has to mow more often. However since it is getting so close to September, I think about one more cutting will do, as I don’t want the grass too close cut when fall and winter sets in. It is too apt to kill the grass

My altheas are in bloom now – pink and red – and the four-o’clocks are a riot of color. I have one ever-blooming rose that is having a hard struggle to survive, poor thing. I have been away for two years, and it was neglected all that time. It is the last of eight plants. There is a sad story about all of them that I have never had the courage to tell until now. I will admit I am ashamed to do so – almost.

Four years ago, sis and her husband gave us four beautiful potted rose bushes to start a rose garden as a father-and-mother’s day gift. I treasured them and brought them through one season just fine. But when the next summer came, the aphids and other pests were so bad I decided to spray everything about the place.

I hooked the spraying attachment to the garden hose, put in the solution and did a thorough job. While putting away the attachment after cleaning it, to my horror, I saw that I had use the weed killer instead of the bug killer. I hurriedly hooked up the sprayer again to wash all the plants, hoping to save them. Then I waited a few days to see if anything would happen. It did. Everything died.

The ivy vines that covered the trellis outside my back porch that covered the west side so well, one of the altheas, all of the roses, everything looked sick — including me.  I hated it about the roses most.  To tell sis?  Oh, no, I’d have to do better than that.

So I took samples of earth from the rose bed and the weed killer can to the greenhouse to see if I dared to reset plants in the same place. They told me it would be safe, so I bought four more identical potted roses and replaced the dead ones. Sis never knew, and won’t unless she reads this somewhere.

That is the reason that I have only one rose bush now and a silk-pod vine instead of the lush ivy vine on the trellis of my back porch.

This essay was written by my grandmother, Lucile Ann Bigler, more than half a century ago. It was found, undated, in a small box of her manuscripts.  Date is 1960-something.

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